NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2008||The Cost of Property Rights: Establishing Institutions on the Philippine Frontier Under American Rule, 1898-1918|
with Lakshmi Iyer: w14298
We examine three reforms to property rights introduced by the United States in the Philippines in the early 20th century: the redistribution of large estates to their tenants, the creation of a system of secure land titles, and a homestead program to encourage cultivation of public lands. During the first phase of American occupation (1898-1918), we find that the progress of implementing these reforms was very slow. As a consequence, tenure insecurity increased over this period, and the distribution of farm sizes remained extremely unequal. We identify two primary causes for the slow progress of reform: first, the high cost of implementing these programs was a major factor in reducing take-up. On the other hand, the government was reluctant to evict delinquent or informal cultivators, espe...
|July 2007||Related Lending: Manifest Looting or Good Governance? Lessons from the Economic History of Mexico|
with Stephen Haber
in The Decline of Latin American Economies: Growth, Institutions, and Crises, Sebastian Edwards, Gerardo Esquivel and Graciela Márquez, editors